Rhys Sebastian's upcoming concert will feature Beethoven, Bollywood tunes with a Jazz twist
When veteran composer Merlin D’Souza and her son, popular saxophonist Rhys Sebastian conducted a workshop at NCPA six months ago, they revisited the classics, giving them a new groove. This led to the idea of the concert Rhyme and Rhythm, featuring performances by Shalmali Kholgade, Gino Banks, and D’Souza, Vivienne Pocha and Sebastian scheduled this weekend. "When NCPA approached us for a concert, we felt it was a great idea. We wanted to take the audience off the beaten path by reinventing classics and spinning them with genres that promise to excite. There will be everything from Hoagy Carmichael and The Beatles to AR Rahman," shares Sebastian, who has arranged the tracks.
The concert will also feature creative consultant Etienne Coutinho, Ravi Chary on the sitar, Tala Faral on the keyboard, Kishore Sodha on the trumpet, Vinay Lobo on the guitar, Saurabh Suman on bass and Ramon Ibrahim on the trombone. Asif Ali Beg will play host. About the star-studded line-up, Sebastian says, "Shalmali and I go back a long way. In college, we would compete with each other. It was only after that we got more amiable, and shared the stage.
Tala Faral has been my mentor and teacher. Artistes will present themselves in new avatars. Merlin will be playing a lot of classical music; Shalmali will show you what she can do with Western music while she sings songs composed by OP Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan and even Ed Sheeran. Vivian will present her Rock/Blues style while Ravi Chary will present a fusion of Indo Jazz," he shares. Over 15 tracks will be performed at the concert.
"The tracks will be jazzy, peppy and energetic. We are doing Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu in the 1920s’ Charleston style. Imagine Beethoven’s Fur Elise expressed in Ragtime and Blues. The ivories will tickle us a little more than usual, and its rhythm will be perked up to entice the audience of this great Beethoven classic.
We hope to present fresh grooves and evergreen melodies," says Sebastian adding that he will also perform a rap song at the gig. "It’s a rap/rhyme about Mumbai’s traffic. I started and completed composing the song, while I was stuck in traffic at Haji Ali," he laughs.
On: February 20, 7 pm
At: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
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